Just about every state requires landlords to maintain habitable housing to make the home fit for tenants. It is a good idea to use low maintenance options when you update your rental property to save on repairs and replacements. As a landlord, you are required keep electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing and air-conditioning systems in good working order. If you don’t make repairs in a timely manner, tenants may be entitled to fix the problem and deduct the cost from their rent, withhold their rent altogether, or in extreme cases terminate the lease agreement.
Keeping your rental property well-maintained makes perfect sense to increase the market value of your property while attracting and retaining good tenants. As a landlord, using smart strategies and low maintenance ideas can save you money in the long run. An experienced property manager can guide you in deciding whether to do the project yourself or hire a professional to do the job. You also have to determine when to spend more for a quality product that lasts longer, and when a less expensive alternative will do just as well.
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Using tile and other durable materials can save you money on maintenance for your rental apartment.
Here are some low
maintenance tips for landlords to get the greatest return on their investment property in the long run:
- Start with Durable Materials: After conducting a background check to make sure your tenants likely candidates to take care of your rental, prepare the property for rent by installing sturdy materials that will hold up to wear and tear and stand the test of time.
- Replace Worn Flooring with Tile: When it’s time to pick up old or worn out vinyl and carpeting, consider replacing the old flooring with ceramic tiles. Tile floors work well in living areas and bathrooms because they are durable, attractive and easy to keep clean. Rugs can delineate areas within the room and add a decorative touch.
- Opt for a Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink: Install a stainless steel sink in the kitchen over a porcelain sink, and certainly over a plastic sink. Basic stainless steel sinks are priced lower than their porcelain counterparts, although an increased gauge or thickness rating can increase the price somewhat. Stainless steel sinks are attractive, trendy and durable.
- Choose a Spray Hose Kitchen Faucet: Faucets with a built-in spray hose are a better investment than less expensive models without the spray hose feature. Tenants love the look and functionality, they look better and they last longer.
- Install Dimmer Switches: Replace your old light switches with flat dimmer switches for a low cost means of updating your rental property. Dimmer switches are more appealing and they can be adjusted to create the right lighting mood. They also save energy when a lower setting will do.
- Contract with a Home Warranty Company: Taking out a contract with a company to insure the appliances in your rental property is a low cost way to manage what can turn out to be expensive repairs. Appliance contracts typically cover refrigerators, dishwashers, washers and dryers, ovens and microwaves.
- Stay Ahead of Pests: Nothing turns a tenant off more than creepy crawlies in their rental property. Scheduled pest control service is a cost-effective way to avoid pest problems. Pest control can also prevent infestations that may go unnoticed by the tenant until there is a major problem.
- Use Energy-Efficient Solutions: Small and inexpensive changes like replacing traditional light bulbs for energy-efficient choices and switching out the thermostat for a programmable model can reduce energy costs and improve the quality of life for your tenants. Energy-efficient windows and furnaces are a larger investment, but they may be worth it in the long run.
- Hire a Professional: While you or your tenant can complete some maintenance tasks on your own, it pays to hire a professional to do large or complicated jobs if you want the job done right. An experienced property manager can guide you in explaining when to DIY and when to call for help. Examples of maintenance situations that benefit from professional services are roof maintenance, landscaping and water heater replacement. Hiring professionals to take care of these issues can lessen the likelihood that the repairs and maintenance will have to be done over again to correct problems.
Keep in mind that as a landlord you have the right to inspect your property if you give your tenants advance notice. A quick and friendly visit at lease renewal time and in between can allow you to check for problems like leaks and working smoke detectors to protect your property and avoid costly problems if small issues go unchecked. Rental income is just one advantage of your investment. With smart maintenance strategies in a stable real estate market, you can expect to accumulate equity by keeping up the marketability of your property.